While I had seen a few dogs and donkeys being led to Santiago de Compostela by their owners, I didn’t recall seeing a pony. When I met the beautiful pony in the hills West of Zumaia, I wondered what it would be like for us to walk side-by-side to Santiago. No, I wasn’t going to open the gate and let the little guy out, but if he jumped the fence and said “Let’s go to Santiago,” I would have considered taking him along. I think our walk would have been quite enjoyable, however, it would have certainly made finding accommodations more difficult and probably cost me a fortune in food!
If I can get serious now, I will emphasize to always carry lots of water along these quiet or more remote stretches of the Camino del Norte. Drinkable water is not always available and it may cause you problems depending on the heat or where you are. I learned my lesson on the next day.
I left my last post, On the Camino Del Norte in Spain, Zumaia to Itziar, on the outskirts of Itziar. First, let’s take one more look at the pony and say goodbye before continuing.
From Elorriaga there was a steep descent and then a series of tiring ups and downs before the climb to Itziar. Here, the road climbs between forest and farmland.
I stopped to pay my respects for a fallen pilgrim.
One kilometer to Itziar.
This path soon takes us…
to the highway with Itziar just ahead. Thankfully, the town was located near the height of land for this stretch of the Camino. When I walked, no albergues were present in Itziar, but I understand there is one now. Always carry the most up-to-date albergue and accomodation guide while walking so you don’t have any problems with arriving to closed doors. This is not the the Camino Francés and you could go many kilometers without pilgrim hostels. Itziar also has at least one bed and breakfast if you want somewhere a little more private or extravagant.
The Iglesia de Santa María sits near the top of the hill in Itziar.
Very quiet streets late in the day. When I mean late in the day, I’m talking about 8pm. Yes, I walked long days 🙂
Back to the church for a quick look around.
I couldn’t afford any mistakes looking for the Camino at this time of day, and watched the signs and arrows closely.
Please excuse the view. This guy seemed to have rather large… ummm… we better move on.
“Hey city boy. Have you not seen a sheep’s testicles before? Get lost!”
Oh my. Another hill ahead!
Stopped for a moment at this icon before…
paying respects for another fallen pilgrim.
I was almost out of daylight and it was darker than it looks here. I was happy because just ahead was…
the town of Deba, which had one of the most interesting forms of pilgrim transportation. Yes, this elevator is part of the Camino, although I don’t think pilgrims in the middle ages had it so easy.
This photo gives you an idea how the inside of one of the rooms at the municipal albergue looks. This was the next morning.
I’ll leave this post in Deba, as I was lucky to get a bed for the night. Although the albergue was close to the upper level of the elevator, if you’re late, you have to go down to the police station in the town center to get a room. That was an interesting experience, as the police officer was not happy that I arrived so late. By the time I got to the albergue, it was pitch black outside.
Please join me on my next post, On the Camino Del Norte in Spain, Deba to Ermita del Calvario, as I left Deba a little late in the morning. Although the walk was through a beautiful countryside with a mix of forest and farmland, I began to struggle and my health deteriorated. Later in the day, I would have the most unnerving experience ever on the Camino. I’ll get to that later.
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